Thursday, July 2, 2009

First Posting - Spring Weddings

May and June have been busy months for me. May and October compete for the busiest wedding months in the year in the NC Triangle and Triad. These months are beautiful, but in this area that also means a little anxiety about weather. There are some glorious days, some wet days and some days where we need creative ways to plan for the heat.

In this first blog entry I'll describe the April and May weddings that I have photos for. I'm still figuring out how to get pictures more quickly. The pictures will tell most of the story. I'm also available for questions. Simply check out my web site at or call me at 919-818-6362.

On April 18th, Bethany and Jesse were married at The Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill. It was stunning. They were in the Bryan Courtyard which is serene and protected. Their staff is incredibly professional and goes out of its way to help their couples.

During the ceremony the couple participated in the sand ceremony. Two smaller dishes of colored sand and one larger empty vase were located on a small table behind them. We were careful to take our time and make sure that Bethany didn't trip on her train as she navigated turning in her dress.

They chose to have no attendants standing with them. This simple elegant ceremony was perfect for this couple who spoke of their love for exploring life together in travel, studying wines, and especially in the challenges of raising their new puppy. Rachel, the wedding planner, from Bliss by Sam was an incredible help in ensuring that all the details were handled so that the couple could relax and enjoy their ceremony.

These are the times I cherish. Jesse and Bethany had completed their ceremony and felt that it went just the way they wanted. Their marriage began with blessing and beauty. Their photographs were taken by a dear friend, Titus Heagins.

On April 25th I had the honor of performing a small ceremony for Corey and Kimberley at Clemmons Educational State Forest in Clayton, NC. They wanted to formalize the love they'd been sharing for many years with their children and their families. The forest has a small amphitheater tucked into the woods, just perfect for such an occasion. They had gotten one of the shelters for their reception. It was a beautiful day and still a little cool. They planned wisely to have the ceremony at 11 AM to provide some natural air conditioning. They chose the Celtic hand-fasting as part of their ceremony and their two children were their attendants. Their friends helped create the picnic which was a wonderful culmination to a day that celebrated their years of dedication and commitment to their relationship and their children.

I had never met this couple before their wedding day. Kimberley and I had several rich conversations in which I got to know them just a little bit and respect them a lot. Conversations and email make long distance planning not only possible but successful.

On April 25th, I also officiated at another small family ceremony in Hillsborough, NC for Julie and Sean. It was held at the home of a friend of Julie's, chosen for her generosity of spirit and her beautiful front yard. Julie and Sean, Julie's son Tristan, Sean's brother, their much loved dog, and two friends (one of whom was the photographer) were in attendance. Everyone was excited to have the day arrive.

Their dog's collar was beaded and elastic and he left it alone. Mostly. He was a wonderful spirit during the ceremony, keeping it lighthearted and playful.

On May 2nd, I performed the marriage ceremony for Kate and John at Bass Lake in Holly Spring, NC. They were right on the water feeling the breeze and the sparkle. Robin Lin Photography created wonderful images of the day. There's one on my web site! Elissa Keno of Elissa Keno Weddings was the planner and decorator extraordinaire who transformed the Visitor's Center Conference Room at Bass Lake which looks over the water into an elegant reception site.

Jay and Kate did all their planning long distance from Arizona! But with so many able professionals it went off without a hitch.

As a part of their ceremony they chose the Unity Candle Ceremony. One note, the breeze off the lake was fairly intense so we had to modify the ceremony so that candles blowing out was not an issue. I recommend to all couples who choose this ceremony to make sure there is hurricane glass around the candles so that the symbolism isn't lost in the wind.

You can see below how just a little decoration really makes the setting spectacular.
They also had the benefit of shade, especially important for the men whose suits don't breathe. I have said for years that anyone who invents men's formal wear that breathes will make a fortune. As the old Yiddish saying goes, 'From my lips to God's ear.'

May was a flurry with multiple weddings every weekend. Gratefully, every single one went smoothly in every aspect. With this first, and catch-up, blog, I'll highlight just two more. Then do more over the weekend.

As I blog regularly, I'll provide more pictures, tips, and recommendations. Officiating at ceremonies is a real joy. I was a parish minister for twelve years and doing strictly weddings, premarital counseling, and other rites of passage allows me to concentrate on each couple or family, giving them all my experience and my blessings as we pass through each others lives.

On May 16th I performed the marriage ceremony for Kyle and Adrian at All Saint's Chapel in Raleigh.

It's a classic setting with incredible lighting just the right size for a mid-size wedding. Misty Ash, their staff member coordinating for the day was very helpful. The refurbished dressing rooms below were spacious and cool on this hot day. We could really have used a wedding planner to help everyone line up in the small foyer. But, with a little extra attention during the rehearsal we planned for the whole wedding party in this tight space. Just a note to remember if you choose this great setting.

Adrian and Kyle live in Charlotte and wanted a simple elegant ceremony. They held their reception at The North Carolina Museum of Art. I've provided a link below to their gallery of photos. For their photos after the ceremony, Kyle and Adrian used the picturesque cemetery across the street from the chapel. It is the oldest cemetery in Raleigh.

Here is a classic photo that maximizes the benefit of the great lighting at this location.

Adrian and Kyle had Craig take a picture from the balcony of this wonderful renovated chapel to get a picture of all their guests. I made an announcement right after the couple recessed to tell everyone to gather for a quick photo before they went to the reception and the wedding party and their families went across the street for other photos.

All these great photos were taken by Craig Carpenter at You can find more on the
photo gallery at their web site or on his blog.

Adrian and Kyle wanted to celebrate their closeness to their families and friends in this ceremony.

If there was a theme for this day it was sharing the amazing grace of Kyle and Adrian's love for each other

On May 23rd Mandy and Josh were married at the Haywood Hall in Raleigh at 5 PM in the evening. It's an historic house that is located on a cul de sac and has a large brick paved side patio that is perfect for the reception.

Mandy and Josh met at a student mixer at Western Lanes Bowling Alley between lanes 1 and 2 and their courtship began there. They've both since completed their MBAs and created new careers but the delight they share as best friends is still strong. Tom Edwards of New Image Studio took the following marvelous photos.

They had about 100 people at the ceremony which was in the downtown section of Raleigh with parks and restored homes. It was shady and cool. The DJ was Frank with Joe Bunn Co. which provided music for the ceremony by just pointing the speakers toward the front. They were simply turned around for the reception. There's more to show for this beautiful wedding, but I need to publish this right now. These photos are big and I believe I've maxed out of space!

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